Final / 3OT

Boston wins series 4-3 (Game 6 of 7)

Boston wins series 4-3

Game 1: Saturday, April 18th
Game 2: Monday, April 20th
Game 3: Thursday, April 23rd
Game 4: Sunday, April 26th
Game 5: Tuesday, April 28th
Game 6: Thursday, April 30th
Game 7: Saturday, May 2nd

Celtics 127

(62-20, 27-14 away)

Bulls 128

(41-41, 28-13 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    7:00 PM ET, April 30, 2009

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 OT 2OT 3OT T
    BOS 26 31 19 25 8 9 9127
    CHI 37 22 24 18 8 9 10128

    Top Performers

    Bos: R. Allen 51 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl

    Chi: J. Salmons 35 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast

    Bulls push series to seventh game after latest OT thriller

    Associated Press

    CHICAGO -- One more overtime thriller has the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics headed for a Game 7. Seems only fitting for this series.

    More Is Better

    Thursday's triple-overtime cliffhanger marked the seventh extra period the Bulls and Celtics have played, setting a NBA record for overtimes in a single series.

    Most Overtimes in a Playoff Series, NBA History
    Year Teams OTs
    2009 Celtics vs. Bulls 7
    1957 Celtics vs. Hawks 4
    1953 Celtics vs. Nationals 4

    Derrick Rose scored 28 points and blocked Rajon Rondo's potential game-winner, John Salmons scored 35, and the Bulls beat the defending champions 128-127 in triple overtime Thursday night to even the first-round series.

    Ray Allen scored a career playoff-high 51 points for the Celtics, but it's back to Boston for Game 7 on Saturday night after another instant classic in a series that had already seen its share of drama.

    2009 NBA Playoffs

    Want an in-depth look at the playoffs? Check out all the matchups, analysis and opinion here:

    • Playoff pages

    Three of the first five games went to overtime, including a Game 4 that went two extra periods. Another came down to the wire in regulation, but this easily trumped them all.

    Rondo penetrated and pulled up on the left block with 8 seconds left and turned, only to be rejected by Rose. The rookie of the year then missed two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining, before Rondo launched a harmless heave from beyond midcourt.

    That ended the game. The series, however, continues.

    "This series is a lot of fun for the fans, the people of Chicago, the people of Boston," said Joakim Noah of the Bulls, who made the go-ahead three-point play after a steal. "It's a lot of fun for us, too, playing in environments like this on the big stage. It's special to be part of this, and I know that it's a series people will be talking about for a long time."

    Rose added: "It's crazy, but you got to love it."

    Things might be different with a healthy Kevin Garnett, but without him, the Celtics are locked in a classic.

    "It's unbelievable," Boston's Kendrick Perkins said. "Shot after shot, tough make after tough make. It's a tough series. They're a young team playing with a lot of confidence."

    Tied at 123 in the third overtime, Noah stole a pass by Paul Pierce and broke upcourt for a dunk, got fouled by Pierce and hit the free throw with 35.5 seconds remaining. Eddie House quickly answered with a corner jumper, his feet on the 3-point arc, to pull the Celtics within 126-125, but Brad Miller hit two free throws to get the lead back up to three with 28 seconds left.

    The Celtics weren't finished, though.

    Fast Facts

    • The Bulls evened the series at three games apiece in the NBA-record fourth overtime game of the series.

    • The teams have now played seven overtime periods in this series, more than any team in NBA history has played in an entire postseason.

    • John Salmons led the Bulls with a playoff career-high 35 points, helping the Bulls win their second straight at home.

    • Derrick Rose added 28 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and a key block of Rajon Rondo's shot late in the third overtime.

    • Ray Allen led the Celtics with a playoff career-high 51 points, which tied for the second most in Celtics' playoff history. Allen became the first Celtic to score 50 points in a playoff game since John Havlicek scored a franchise-record 54 points in 1973.

    • Rondo tied Bob Cousy's Celtics' playoff record with 19 assists.

    • The Celtics have lost 10 of their last 15 road playoff games.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    Rondo put back his own miss to make it a one-point game, and then he got a break when Kirk Hinrich missed a layup with Rondo's hand in the cylinder -- which would have been goaltending.

    Allen was spectacular for Boston, finishing three points shy of John Havlicek's club playoff record and tying the NBA playoff mark with nine 3-pointers.

    "It's very bittersweet," Allen said. "There's nothing to really talk about anymore. We lost and we had the agony that it wasn't enough."

    Glen Davis added 23 points and Pierce had 22, but it was a difficult night for Rondo.

    The Celtics' best player in the first five games, he had 19 assists and nine rebounds but scored just eight points and threw an elbow at Hinrich during a first-quarter skirmish. He heard boos and derisive chants for his foul at the end of Game 5 that left a woozy Miller with a bloody mouth before missing two tying free throws.

    This time, Salmons and Rose had plenty of help from Miller, who had 23 points and 10 rebounds.

    The Celtics were leading 113-111 in the second OT after Davis scored with 3:49 left, but they went cold and the Bulls grabbed the lead.

    Salmons responded with a 3-pointer to put Chicago ahead and made it a three-point game with a driving layup with two minutes left.

    It stayed that way until Allen, his toes touching the arc, buried a jumper from the right corner that pulled Boston within 116-115 with 20 seconds remaining. Miller hit two free throws, to make it a three-point game, but Allen wasn't finished.

    He dribbled to his left and buried a 3-pointer over Hinrich to tie it with 7.6 seconds left.

    "I really don't know what to say about this series," Pierce said. "This has been a phenomenal series."

    Game notes

    Havlicek scored 54 against Atlanta on April 1, 1973. ... Rose was a unanimous pick for the all-rookie team along with Memphis' O.J. Mayo in a vote of the league's coaches.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 127 128
    FGM-FGA 46-106 (.434) 49-99 (.495)
    3PM-3PA 11-31 (.355) 9-17 (.529)
    FTM-FTA 24-30 (.800) 21-28 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-49 9-46
    Assists 29 27
    Turnovers 13 17
    Steals 6 4
    Blocks 6 7
    Fast Break Points 3 18
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (1/1) 30 (4/0)
    Largest Lead 8 13

    Top Performers

    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 51
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    John Salmons Salmons
    Points: 35
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0